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What to Know About Suing a Government Agency

The government is meant to afford citizens structure and protection, but this doesn’t mean it can’t negatively affect those same citizens. When a governmental agency causes those within its jurisdiction harm, legal action can be taken. However, the process isn’t the same as suing a person or company; some specific actions and routes need to be considered. Read on to learn how suing the government works.

How It’s Possible

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Typically legal action against the government stems from a government worker or agency’s negligence, such as hazardous conditions in a government building with no proper signage or a governmental agent unintentionally causing physical harm while on the job. To sue, the government worker has to have been acting within their scope of work, as determined by the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The federal government is essentially incapable of being sued otherwise, and states have similar protections.

The Claims Process

First, you need to be sure of three things: that the worker is employed by the federal government (not a contractor), that it was negligence perpetrated in their realm of work, and that your claim doesn’t contradict any of the other FTCA limitations. From there, you can file your complaint with the government agency in question through the Standard Form 95. This must be done within two years of the incident, and the agency has six months to respond. If they do not, or if a settlement is not reached by the six months’ end, you can advance to legal proceedings.

To ensure your claim meets the proper qualifications and deadlines, consult an experienced personal injury attorney. Leav & Steinberg LLP serves clients throughout New York; our team of dedicated lawyers is here to help you build out your case against a government agency. Contact us today to request your free consultation.